Grandma’s Homemade Vegetable Soup- Making soup from scratch is one of the first things a person should learn how to do when first learning to cook. In this post, I will show you how to make a comforting homemade vegetable soup recipe that is a great way to use up your garden bounty, and get more veggies in your diet!
Grandma’s Homemade Vegetable Soup
This recipe right here is the most important one on this blog, because this soup is where it all started. My love of scratch cooking and fresh produce can be traced back to this very dish. As far as this blog is concerned, this soup started it all.
This soup is very special to me. It was the very first thing I learned how to make as a child! My Grandmother taught me how to make this, and I have been making it often throughout my life.
You could say that this is my childhood in a bowl. My grandma was a very special person in my life, and I learned so much from her! She grew up on a farm and always had a big garden, and most of the vegetables we put in this soup when we made it together came from her garden, often freshly picked.
As is often the case, this recipe did not start off as a recipe, it was done by feel, and by eyeballing a lot of things. As I got older, I cooked it enough on my own that I was able to formulate measurements to make it into an actual recipe.
Why You’ll Love This Soup
If you love vegetables, then my Grandmother’s vegetable soup recipe is for you! If you garden, have a CSA share, shop at the Farmers Market or honesty stand, or you just love hanging out in the produce section of your local grocery store, then you are going to like this a lot.
This is an easy soup to make, and you’ll find it is substantial enough on its own and it does not need the addition of meat.
My Grandma’s soup is one of those old soup recipes that doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. This is simple, homemade goodness at its most basic.
This also reheats well, and tastes even better the next day, and it is great for meal prep too.
Ingredients For Grandma’s Homemade Vegetable Soup
You won’t find anything exotic in this recipe. My Grandma grew up on a farm in rural Tennessee during the Great Depression. She was a lot more practical than fancy, and this country vegetable soup recipe is definitely practical, making use of a lot of garden veggies.
Olive Oil- I used olive oil here, but avocado or sunflower seed oil would work just as well.
Carrots- I like to peel them first, but if you are short on time you can skip this step.
Celery- What is soup without celery?
Onion- Plain old yellow onion is fine here.
Bell Pepper- I typically use green, but if you have another color feel free to use it.
Corn- I like it cut fresh off the cob, but you can use frozen here if you can’t find fresh. This post may be the only time you’ll ever see me saying to use frozen veggies haha!
Okra- My Grandma was a Southerner, so as you can well imagine okra would have to be included. Again, use frozen if fresh is unavailable.
Tomatoes- I use fresh tomatoes in this soup (my Grandma used canned). If you need to use canned tomatoes that’s ok!
Potatoes- Red or Yukon Gold are best here. They both hold up well to the cooking process. Don’t peel your potatoes! Flavor, flavor, flavor!
Green Cabbage- Definitely use green instead of purple. The Purple cabbage will turn the soup a strange color.
Salt and Pepper- You don’t need as much of these as you would think. All these veggies have so much flavor on their own.
Dried Parsley- As much as I love fresh herbs, this is one of the few times you’ll see me using dried herbs. The dried parsley stands up better to cooking.
Water- You don’t need to use vegetable stock. The veggies will release flavor into the water, making a flavorful broth.
How To Make Homemade Vegetable Soup
This is an easy recipe. The hardest part is chopping the veggies, which you could even do a day or so ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.
- Roast the tomatoes.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, chop the rest of the vegetables.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, onion, and celery to a stock pot with a little oil.
- Add some salt and saute.
- Next, add the corn and cabbage along with salt.
- Remove the tomatoes from the oven and chop.
- Put the okra and tomatoes in the pot with salt and pepper and dried parsley.
- Add water and bring to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer until the veggies are tender.
How To Chop Vegetables For Soup
This is pretty easy! Here are a few tips and things to keep in mind:
- Slice the roma tomatoes lengthwise into thirds or if they are large, into fourths.
- Cut the fresh corn kernels off the cob.
- Try to cut the different veggies into similar size pieces so that they all cook evenly. I try to keep my veggie pieces around ½ to ¾ inch in size.
- You do not need to chop your vegetables in any particular order except for the tomatoes. You want to do those first so they can roast while you chop the rest.
How To Season Vegetable Soup
The seasoning here is simple: salt, pepper, and dried parsley. The vegetables really are the star here, and you can taste them all!
I like to season this in layers, adding salt with each addition of the vegetables. You get a really nice flavor that way.
How Can I Get More Flavor In My Vegetable Soup?
One modification I have made to this recipe is that I don’t use canned tomatoes the way my Grandma did. I use oven roasted tomatoes.
While this might seem like more work, it’s really not. The tomatoes roast while you chop the rest of the veggies. All you do is pull them out of the oven and add them when they are ready!
Do You Have To Saute Vegetables Before Making Soup?
I highly recommend it, in fact I would say it’s crucial. It helps build flavor. I say if you are going to make something, it should taste good!
This recipe can change with your taste, mood, or the seasons. The vegetables you see listed here are the ones my Grandmother and I have always used to make this soup, but if there is something here you can’t find or don’t like, feel free to omit it.
I don’t recommend using vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli, or eggplant in this soup. They will overcook and get mushy. If you would like to try any of these here, I would add them in the last five minutes of cooking so they don’t overcook.
If you want your okra crunchier, you can wait until the last minute to add it if you like.
How Long Can You Keep Homemade Vegetable Soup In The Fridge Before It Spoils?
In a container with a tight fitting lid, this soup will keep for up to a week. It reheats beautifully!
Can You Freeze Vegetable Soup?
Yes, I have frozen this soup many times. Simply freeze in large gallon freezer bags. When you are ready to use it, you can defrost it in the refrigerator or cut the bag off and put the block of frozen soup right into a soup pot (my Grandma did it this way) and reheat on medium low heat. If you freeze your vegetable soup, use it within a month.
What To Serve With Vegetable Soup
I love this all by itself, or with a big slab of cornbread. Sometimes, I’ll make a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it. Sandwiches of all types are great with this soup, and I love brownies for dessert!
Looking for other soup ideas? Head over to my Soups section for more recipes. Happy Cooking!
If you tried my Grandma’s homemade vegetable soup, I hope you love it! Feel free to share this recipe with friends on social media. If you have not signed up for my newsletter and free ebook, you can do that below. I hope you stop by again soon!
This homemade vegetable soup is easy, great for meal prep, and freezes well. It is chock full of all the fresh veggies you could ever want!
- 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
- 3 medium Carrots
- 2 stalks of Celery
- 1/2 of a large Yellow Onion
- 10-12 spears of Fresh Okra
- 1 pound Roma Tomatoes
- 2 large Red or Yellow Potatoes
- 1/3 of a small Green Cabbage
- 1 large Green Bell Pepper
- 2 ears of Fresh Corn
- 4 tsp of Salt
- 1/2 tsp of Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp of Dried Parsley
- 6 cups of Water
- Start by prepping the tomatoes to roast. Heat your oven to 425 degrees.
- While the oven heats, cut the tops off the tomatoes and cut them lengthwise into thirds or quarters (depending on size).
- Place them on a foil lined baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt.
- Place on the center rack of the oven and roast for 20 to 25 minutes (no need to turn the tomato slices over).
- While the tomatoes roast, start chopping the vegetables.
- You don't need to chop them in any particular order. Just be sure to try to make the vegetables similar sizes, about 1/2 an inch to 3/4 inch size pieces.
- The carrots can be sliced into coins about 1/4 inch thick, and the corn kernals will need to be cut off the cob. When cutting the okra, cut off the tops and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.
- The tomatoes may be done roasting before you are done chopping all the veggies. If that is the case, simply remove them from the oven and set them aside until you are done cutting everything up.
- Once the veggies are ready to cook, heat the 2 Tbsp of oil on medium high heat in a large stock pot.
- First, add the potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, onion, and celery and 1 tsp of salt and saute about 3 minutes.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes, and them to the pot along with the okra.
- Add the corn and the cabbage, along with another 1 tsp of salt. Stir well and saute about 2 minutes.
- Add 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, and the 1 Tbsp of dried parsley.
- Stir well, then add the 6 cups of water and turn up the heat to high to bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, cover the pot and turn the heat down to medium low, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve with cornbread or grilled cheese sandwiches.
You can use frozen corn or frozen okra if you can't get them fresh.
If you don't want to roast tomatoes for the soup, use a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes and reduce the water from 6 cups to 5 cups.
The vegetables can be chopped ahead of time (except for the tomatoes) and stored in the refrigerator for a day or two until you want to make the soup.
Your soup will keep for up to one week in the fridge in a tightly sealed container.
This soup freezes well. Just put it in a gallon freezer bag and freeze for up to one month. To defrost, move the bag into the refrigerator until thawed, then heat and eat. Or, you can cut the bag off the frozen soup and place the block in a stock pot on medium low heat until defrosted.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 114Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1197mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g
All information presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietitian and any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline. Statements within this site have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is provided for recipes contained on this site. This information comes from online calculators. Although The Copper Table attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.